Scottish Scientists Are Trying to Create Inorganic Life Scientists at Glasgow University are on a mission to create a form of life from inorganic molecules. The team, led by Professor Lee Cronin, has demonstrated a way of creating an inorganic cell, in which internal membranes control the movement of energy and materials, just as in a living cell. These cells can also store electricity and could be used in medicine and chemistry as sensors or to contain chemical reactions. This research is part of Cronin's larger project to show that inorganic compounds are able to self-replicate and evolve like biological cells do. The ultimate goal is to give these inorganic cells life-like properties so they can evolve and eventually be used in materials science. Cronin said he believes creating inorganic life is entirely possible, that if biological organisms evolved from single-cell bacteria, so should life be able to evolve from inorganic microorganisms.
Why Watch? Because we should challenge how we define a film. Most of the shorts featured in this column are either easy to spot as stories or completely experimental. Short Film of the Day: Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus
Teleportation and forcefields possible within decades, says Professor Michio Kaku Teleportation, telepathy, forcefields and invisibility are Class 1 impossibilities, meaning they are likely to be realisable within a few decades or at most a century. Class II impossibilities may take centuries or millennia to perfect, while Class III impossibilities are truly impossible. Class 1 Teleportation is likely to be achieved through "quantum entanglement", a property that allows connections to be formed – and information transmitted - between particles many miles apart. Similarly, telepathy will be made possible by improved MRI machines that can effectively read minds, and electrodes that can then pass the information into the brains of other humans. Invisibility will probably be achieved using a recently-built "metamaterial" capable of bending light rays, he argues.
4 Rare Earth Elements That Will Only Get More Important Sir William Crookes, a 19th century British chemist, once wrote that, "rare earth elements perplex us in our researches, baffle us in our speculations and haunt us in our very dreams." These weren't easy elements to isolate or to understand, and so there was a very long lag time between the discovery of the rare earths, and the discovery of practical uses for them. It didn't help that individual rare earth elements don't occur by their lonesome—they travel in packs.
Boy discovers microbe that eats plastic It's not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last May's Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic. Daniel had a thought it seems even the most esteemed PhDs hadn't considered. Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, does in fact eventually decompose. It takes 1,000 years but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there to do the decomposing.
It’s In the Bag! Teenager Wins Science Fair, Solves Massive Environmental Problem | Discoblog
Universal robotic gripper Robert Barker/University Photography The human hand is an amazing machine that can pick up, move and place objects easily, but for a robot, this "gripping" mechanism is a vexing challenge. Opting for simple elegance, researchers from Cornell, the University of Chicago and iRobot Corp. have created a versatile gripper using everyday ground coffee and a latex party balloon, bypassing traditional designs based on the human hand and fingers. They call it a universal gripper, as it conforms to the object it's grabbing, rather than being designed for particular objects, said Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and computer science.
The Turing Test First published Wed Apr 9, 2003; substantive revision Wed Jan 26, 2011 The phrase “The Turing Test” is most properly used to refer to a proposal made by Turing (1950) as a way of dealing with the question whether machines can think. According to Turing, the question whether machines can think is itself “too meaningless” to deserve discussion (442).
Email is taking up too much time in our lives. Do yourself and your recipients a favor by making your emails 3 sentences or less. If we all do it, imagine the time we’ll have to do other things. If this was an actual email reply and not a blog post, it would have ended before this sentence started. Email Overload Fix: 3 Sentence Emails
The Next Steps In Robotics And Computer Vision: Behavior Analysis, Situational Awareness We’ve seen some interesting developments lately in the fields of robotics and computer vision. They’re not as academic as you’d expect: enormous tech successes like the Roomba and Kinect have relied as much on clever algorithms and software development as they have on marketing and retail placement. So what’s next for our increasingly intelligent cameras, webcams, TVs, and phones? I spoke with Dr. Anthony Hoogs, head of computer vision research at Kitware, a company that’s a frequent partner of DARPA, NIH, and other acronyms you’d probably recognize.We discussed what one might reasonably expect from the next few years of advances in this growing field. Kitware is a member of what we might reasonably call the third party in tech, one not often in the spotlight.
1. Aerogel Aerogel holds 15 entries in the Guinness Book of Records, including “best insulator”, and “lowest-density solid”. Accelerating Future » 10 Interesting Futuristic Materials
For One Tiny Instant, Physicists May Have Broken a Law of Nature This image of a full-energy collision between gold ions shows the paths taken by thousands of subatomic particles produced during the impact. For a brief instant, it appears, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island recently discovered a law of nature had been broken. Action still resulted in an equal and opposite reaction, gravity kept the Earth circling the Sun, and conservation of energy remained intact. But for the tiniest fraction of a second at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), physicists created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed. Parity was long thought to be a fundamental law of nature. It essentially states that the universe is neither right- nor left-handed — that the laws of physics remain unchanged when expressed in inverted coordinates.
Protein that destroys HIV discovered Loyola University researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys. The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans, said senior researcher Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System.
Energy Biosciences Institute